Daily Poem: Wintering ~ Sylvia Plath

January 19, 2018 | Filed Under Poem for Hela | No Comments

Wintering
~ Sylvia Plath

This is the easy time, there is nothing doing.
I have whirled the midwife’s extractor,
I have my honey,
Six jars of it,
Six cat’s eyes in the wine cellar,

Wintering in a dark without window
At the heart of the house
Next to the last tenant’s rancid jam
and the bottles of empty glitters–
Sir So-and-so’s gin.

This is the room I have never been in
This is the room I could never breathe in.
The black bunched in there like a bat,
No light
But the torch and its faint

Chinese yellow on appalling objects–
Black asininity. Decay.
Possession.
It is they who own me.
Neither cruel nor indifferent,

Only ignorant.
This is the time of hanging on for the bees–the bees
So slow I hardly know them,
Filing like soldiers
To the syrup tin

To make up for the honey I’ve taken.
Tate and Lyle keeps them going,
The refined snow.
It is Tate and Lyle they live on, instead of flowers.
They take it. The cold sets in.

Now they ball in a mass,
Black
Mind against all that white.
The smile of the snow is white.
It spreads itself out, a mile-long body of Meissen,

Into which, on warm days,
They can only carry their dead.
The bees are all women,
Maids and the long royal lady.
They have got rid of the men,

The blunt, clumsy stumblers, the boors.
Winter is for women–
The woman, still at her knitting,
At the cradle of Spanish walnut,
Her body a bulb in the cold and too dumb to think.

Will the hive survive, will the gladiolas
Succeed in banking their fires
To enter another year?
What will they taste of, the Christmas roses?
The bees are flying. They taste the spring.

Frostproof Bee By Qypchak (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Daily Poem: Remember I Love You ~ Anastasia Haysler

January 18, 2018 | Filed Under Poem for Hela | No Comments

I wrote the first draft of this in August 2017. We were in Helsinki for a conference the first time that P45 started a public argument with Kim Jong Un. Unable to sleep, I found myself wondering what we would do if the unthinkable happened, and there was no US to fly back to at the end of the week.  Having grown up in the 1970s and been through my share of “extreme event” drills, the old terrors resurfaced. I worked through them (as much as one can), but this past weekend, with the false alarm in Hawaii, brought it all right back, again. So I have polished this up, and present it in hopes it speaks to you.

Remember I Love You
~ Anastasia Haysler

If the missiles com
You’ll have 18 minutes.
Everyone will call someone.
I don’t expect we’ll be able to get through.

Remember I love you.
Remember our first date,
Laughing easily over plates of pasta.
“Thank you for such a fun evening.”

Remember I love you.
Remember our first trip to London,
Standing in front of the Rosetta Stone.
“I’ll love you even longer than this is old.”

Remember I love you.
Remember our first flat
Overlooking the park.
“This is a view of heaven.”

Remember I love you.
Remember walking hand in hand
Along sidewalks, by rivers, through museums.
“This is the perfect way to spend the day.”

Remember I love you.
Remember the books we read each other,
The music we played each other.
“That was wonderful, and new to me.”

Remember I love you.
Remember the hardware store,
The grocery store, the laundry, the dishes.
“This, too, is love.”

Remember I love you.
I hope you have a chance for
One last ice cream cone,
One last chorus of birdsong,
A field of flowers, or a forest to lie in.
One last moment of bliss.

As the final burst of light
Explodes across the sky,
And we are no more,
I hope you hear my voice.
“Remember I love you.”

Remember I love you.

Remember.

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Daily Poem: He Thinks of Those Who Have Spoken Evil of His Beloved ~ William Butler Yeats

January 17, 2018 | Filed Under Poem for Hela | No Comments

He Thinks of Those Who Have Spoken Evil of His Beloved
~ William Butler Yeats

Half close your eyelids, loosen your hair,
And dream about the great and their pride;
They have spoken against you everywhere,
But weigh this song with the great and their pride;
I made it out of a mouthful of air,
Their children’s children shall say they have lied.

Zinaida Serebriakova: Portrait of Olga Lancere 1910

Zinaida Serebriakova: Portrait of Olga Lancere 1910

 
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Daily Poem: Prayer for a Friend ~ Clementine Von Radics

January 16, 2018 | Filed Under Poem for Hela | No Comments

Prayer for a Friend
~ Clementine Von Radics

This struggle we are struggling isn’t ours alone.
We did not invent loss.
We are not the first to have vows smashed
with a bitter hammer. But god,
You have been battling your pain with bare-knuckle
fists for days and I just wish
I could fight for you.

If I could, I would wrap you up safe.
Make your whole life naps and burritos
and first kisses.
No one should pick on you when you
are so sweet
sugar blushes when you get too close.

In the mess of loss and longing don’t forget
there is a place for you to rest in my ribcage.
This world will cherish you beyond time
I promise.
Love you even when it makes no sense to love you.
This world will force your breath and you
will keep on living.
Sometimes despite yourself.
I will be waiting on the other side to hold you.

Aurora Borealis from Alaska Magazine

Image Credit: Aurora Borealis from Alaska Magazine

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Daily Poem: If They Come in the Night ~ Marge Piercy

January 15, 2018 | Filed Under Poem for Hela | No Comments

This seems a suitable poem to post on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.

If They Come in the Night
~ Marge Piercy

Long ago on a night of danger and vigil
a friend said, why are you happy?
He explained (we lay together
on a cold hard floor) what prison
meant because he had done
time, and I talked of the death
of friends. Why are you happy
then, he asked, close to
angry.

I said, I like my life. If I
have to give it back, if they
take it from me, let me
not feel I wasted any, let me
not feel I forgot to love anyone
I meant to love, that I forgot
to give what I held in my hands,
that I forgot to do some little
piece of the work that wanted
to come through.

Sun and moonshine, starshine,
the muted light off the waters
of the bay at night, the white
light of the fog stealing in,
the first spears of morning
touching a face
I love. We all lose
everything. We lose
ourselves. We are lost.

Only what we manage to do
lasts, what love sculpts from us;
but what I count, my rubies, my
children, are those moments
wide open when I know clearly
who I am, who you are, what we
do, a marigold, an oakleaf, a meteor,
with all my senses hungry and filled
at once like a pitcher with light.

Sebastian Voortman

Image Credit: Sebastian Voortman

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